When we want to get out the tweezers and pull out that annoying splinter we have to make sure we are in the right light or we will mess it all up. That light is Jesus. The light came into the world so we would no longer be in darkness. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us so we have access to the knowledge of truth which sets us free. If we are freed by Jesus then we are free indeed. So I say it ought to feel pretty freeing when it is all said and done. This one of the questions I asked in the last post:
Is the human race ultimately responsible for all that goes wrong on this planet because we sinned and were ejected from the Garden because we were miserable sinners and needed to be perpetually punished and as a result all of this world is suffering as a result of this punishment? NOPE!
The key to understanding is to begin with the cross and move backward. Everything before the cross is a shadow of the cross. Paul tells us this:
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (ESV)
I believe it is so important that we don’t forget how we are right in the middle of this cosmic battle. God chose to use us to reclaim the Earth:
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. (ESV)
The Earth was a desolate wasteland prior to God’s redemption program:
Gen 1:2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (ERV)
The ruler of this world was likely already in place:
Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! (ESV)
Luke 10:18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (ESV)
Since Jesus was from the very beginning I believe He is referring to the fall of Lucifer. I also believe that satan was sent to Earth. So when Adam and Eve appear on the scene they are on a hostile planet. God creates this wonderful sanctuary or garden to “be fruitful” but since God wanted us to choose Him freely satan had access to them in the garden. There are some truths about the enemy that we should never forget:
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies (ESV)
When we were deceived in the garden the war included us:
Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (ESV)
And Jesus comes to fulfill that promise:
Heb 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, (ESV)
John 12:30 Jesus answered, This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sake. 31 Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled). 32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself. (AMP)
When He died and rose again Jesus got back what we never had:
Rev 1:18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (ESV)
And He gave that same authority to us:
Matt 16:19 “And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” (The Message)
Matt 28:17-19 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (ESV)
Now we get to do what Jesus did. We are finally restored to the original intent:
1 John 3:7-9 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (ESV)
Remember you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and God’s seed in you is a promise that can’t be revoked. As a born again believer you receive His righteousness.
So the world has been subject to an evil ruler from the beginning. God’s masterful plan was to redeem this planet with us as an extension of Him. We were made from the very dirt of the Earth that came under the dominion of the ruler of air. Can you see how amazing it is? God breathed life into the very dust that He told the serpent to eat the rest of his days. I like that. God redeems by using the unredeemed stuff of an unredeemed planet. God justifies the ungodly (Rom 4:5). That should really change your paradigm. We aren’t here to be better moral rule followers. That is a fruit not a root. We are here to be extensions of Him. We are here as His representatives.
In the next post I will dive deeper into the specifics of the “after bad fruit encounter.” Knowing the backdrop is very important. We can never forget that the devil has been out to get us from the very beginning. He deceived us in the garden and has been trying to kill us and deceive us ever since. No doubt God declaring the devil as our enemy really got him fired up. Jesus came to defeat the works of the devil and give us the keys of success to follow His footsteps. So we aren’t living in perpetual punishment put empowered reconciliation and redemption. We are actually redeeming the fallen world. We are actually bringing God’s dominion to the planet. Our ambassadorial charter is to restore the planet based on our presence. We get to stomp on the head of the devil from our heavenly seat in Christ. Put the blame for all the bad stuff where it belongs, squarely on the shoulders of the devil. That truth really should encourage you and set you free. Splinter #1 removed!